BASE, Thailand — Members of the Utah National Guard’s
128th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment returned home Feb. 12
after completing their mission to Thailand in support of the
annual Cobra Gold exercise.
Cobra Gold is a yearly joint
multinational exercise designed to train military forces
from Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Singapore, Thailand and the
U.S. in peacekeeping, humanitarian and disaster-response
operations in a Coalition environment.
The six-member team from the 128th
worked alongside U.S. Army Pacific Public Affairs and
Coalition partners in the Combined Joint Information Bureau
at Utapao Air Base.
The MPAD members were assigned
various tasks during Cobra Gold 2010 to include supporting
new media (Facebook, Flickr); DVIDS (Digital Video and
Imagery Distribution System); editing Cobra Strike,
the official publication of Cobra Gold 2010; and producing
print, broadcast and new-media articles for internal and
Photo by CPT Wencke Tate
SPC Ashley Baum, left,
and SSG DaleAnne Maxwell, right, of the
128th MPAD, capture the
Cobra Gold 2010 opening ceremony Feb. 1.
Working with active-duty Soldiers
and Marines at Cobra Gold 2010 also helped 128th
Soldiers to fine tune their public affairs skills.
"I worked with counterparts from
different Services in the U.S. Military and was able to
learn how to be a more efficient and stronger broadcaster
because of their influence," said Spc. Ashley Baum, a
broadcaster with the 128th MPAD. "Since I am in the National
Guard, I don't have the ability to practice my MOS as often
as some of the active-duty Soldiers and Marines. They helped
me see what areas I need to work on and how those
improvements will enhance my broadcast work in the future."
Working with active-duty
Servicemembers, Soldiers of the 128th were also
able to use systems not available back home, such as DVIDS,
a state-of-the-art, 24/7 operation that provides a
connection between the media around the world and the U.S.
Not having used DVIDS previously
did not stop Sgt. 1st Class Nichole Bonham, DVIDS
noncommissioned officer in charge and 128th
unit-readiness NCOIC, from accomplishing her mission.
Bonham was able to upload directly
to the DVIDS site and managed a successful live interview
with the commanding general of United States Army, Pacific,
Benjamin R. Mixon for a Pentagon press brief.
Overall, serving at Cobra Gold
2010 helped members of the 128th to train and grow together.
"I feel the training exercise
allowed me to grow into a better Soldier," said Baum. "And
now I can take what I learned and apply it to the broadcast
section in the unit and help the other broadcasters grow."